September 17, 2010

I Feel Very Lonely In This Culture

Coney Island, Fourth of July, 1958
Gelatin silver print by Robert Frank

From Robert Frank's column for Creative Camera, no. 60 (June 1969) titled Robert Frank: Letter from New York:

"... I don't really know why I'm going to put down Helen Frankenthaler, a New York painter who is going to have a big show at the Whitney Museum in NY. This is how it happens: I am at the printers where The Americans is being reprinted. There, on another press, the catalogue for Frankenthaler's show is run off. The paintings look at me and I look at them: a cold fury comes over me, what white emptiness, what meaningless elegance, what indulgence into TASTE and intellectual snobbery. What makes a show like Frankenthaler's possible is Power and Money; and that, especially the latter, is the mark of success upon which the system insists - Art or business or anything. That's the way it is in America ... true but sad ..."

Candle, 1983
Oil on canvas by Gerhard Richter

From Michael Kimmelman's article titled Gerhard Richter: An Artist Beyond Isms in the January 27, 2002 edition of the New York Times:

"I'm not young anymore," he (Richter) adds, and at that moment glances at his watch and notices it is nearly time for him to cross the garden to the house for his usual solitary lunch. He says: "I can bear this -- that I am not the young wild guy. I hope that the lust to work doesn't leave me. That would be sad. I am glad to get honors and high prices. But artists are valued today in terms of money, auctions. I wish society would need art more, but it doesn't. So I feel very lonely in this culture."

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